Felicity AlexanderEditor's message: Employers seeking to expand their business interests by establishing a base abroad may either employ local workers and/or second or relocate their existing employees. Where an existing employee is transferred abroad, it may be appropriate for the employer to issue a new contract to the employee with his or her agreement.

One key decision for a multinational employer is whether to engage employees on terms and conditions that are tailored for particular countries or regions, or are substantially the same for all locations. The employer, in making this decision, should consider the minimum requirements that apply to employment contracts under national employment laws, as well as under regional regulation, local rules and collective agreements.

Global employers may need to take account of positive discrimination rules that affect recruitment. For example, a number of countries operate quotas for employing people with disabilities. Larger employers in South Africa must provide preferential treatment in recruitment to designated groups. In Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, foreign workers may not be employed where each country's own nationals are available.

Felicity Alexander, employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to international employment and HR issues.